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Weak pound sees record foreign investment into UK tech firms

Derek Mackay at ID Co

ID Co welcomed Finance Secretary Derek Mackay and Scottish Enterprise CEO Steve Dunlop ahead of a $2m investment in the Edinburgh firm (pic: Terry Murden)

More foreign investment has been poured into the UK tech sector in the first seven months of this year than in the whole of last year.

UK tech firms have received £5.5 billion since January as investors shrug off Brexit worries and take advantage of the weak pound, according to figures from the UK’s Digital Economy Council and Tech Nation.

The study for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) body revealed that the UK has overtaken the US for the amount of investment per capita.

So far this year investment from the US and Asia into the UK tech sector totals £3.02 billion compared to £2.38bn for the whole of last year and accounting for 55% of the total.

Asia invested £1.48bn into the UK tech sector compared to £0.49bn in the first half of last year. Companies in the UK’s fintech and financial sector are amongst those that attracted the most interest from Asia’s investors.

Among the investors from Asia were Japan’s Softbank which took a stake in Greensill while Mitsubishi Corporation acquired a 20% stake in UK power firm Ovo Energy. US firms have pumped $2bn into the UK this year.

In May Scottish fintech firm The ID Co received $2m in seed funding from global technology investor Amadeus Capital Partners, SixThirty and other investors. US food delivery service Deliveroo this month acquired Scottish software design and development firm Cultivate, its first UK office outside its London base.

Eileen Burbidge, chairman of Tech Nation, said: “Investment in the UK tech sector has been steadily rising for years and as these latest figures demonstrate, the momentum is increasing.

“It is incredibly gratifying to see that in addition to domestic and European investors, British tech innovators are also attracting US and Asian investor attention and allocation.”

Nicky Morgan, Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary, said: “These fantastic figures show the confidence overseas investors have in UK tech with investment flows from the US and Asia at an all-time high.

“We have a longstanding reputation for innovation and the statistics endorse our reputation as one of the best places in the world to start and grow a digital business.”

See also

Edinburgh takes global lead in emerging cleantech investment

Scotland still draws foreign investors amid slowdown

Slowdown in venture capital funding as uncertainty spreads

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